Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Mar 15th, 2016

St. Lucia: Matter

luciaSt. Lucia
(Columbia Records)

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With their recent release, Matter, St. Lucia continues to showcase the sophisticated talents of lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler, a South African-born musician who attended music school in England before writing the band’s first songs in NYC. A veritable time-shifter of a record, the group’s sophomore album sends listeners straight back to the glam-pop era of the ’80s, but with a fresh and further refined take on the older sound. Matter stays true to what you’d expect from a band that bears the name of a Caribbean island: shimmery waves of sound surrounding a vibrant hotbed of driving rhythms. Full disclosure: you’ll likely get a sudden urge to apply sunscreen at some point during your listening experience. The opening track “Do You Remember” kicks off with the rewinding of a cassette to let you know what you’re in for: a pop music boundary-pusher that unabashedly turns the clock back to when many listeners were still plodding around in diapers. But the sound we get is anything but the robotic emissions found all too commonly in this genre. The group employs a variety of instruments to overlay intricate melodies over simple, driving rhythms, resulting in a decorated sound that shines ever-so-brightly on jams like “Game 4 U” and “Help Me Run Away.” Bouncy and drifting from start to finish, it’s hard not to feel loosened up and ready to dance at any point during this record. Still, this collection isn’t just footloose dream-pop, you’ll be astounded by the degree of control exercised on “Love Somebody” to keep every level of instrumentation on the same wavelength as melodies rise and fall over steady percussion rhythms, the heartbeat of the sound. Put off the Caribbean vacay and submerge your ears in St. Lucia’s Matter.

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St. Lucia: Matter